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WELCOME TO HYUNDAI’S HAPPINESS MACHINE
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Driving

What is it like to drive?

Let’s delve into those powertrains a little more first. The Hybrid gets a combined 139bhp and 195lb ft of torque. Emissions (or the lack of) are rather important in Niro-land too, and Kia claims 64.2mpg and 100g/km of CO2 in this setup.

The PHEV develops a combined 180bhp and 265Nm of torque, with a 0-62mph time of 9.6 seconds for the lighter base-spec car and 9.8 seconds for the rest of the range. The battery is larger than the previous generation PHEV’s at 11.1kWh (vs the old 8.9kWh unit) so in theory you’ll get up to 40 miles of all-electric range from a full charge. The plug-in powertrain also means Kia can quote up to 353.1mpg and just 18g/km of CO2, with the best figures again achieved by the base spec version. 

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How do they both drive then?

Well, we’ve only driven the standard hybrid so far, but it’s much the same as the previous gen. There’s perhaps a little more polish now in that the ride is slightly smoother and the 1.6-litre engine is a little quieter, but there’s still a grumble here and there.

The switch between all-electric running and the engine coming into play is well managed and smooth though. Just don’t expect to get anywhere too quickly – 0-62mph takes 10.8 seconds in higher-spec versions.

Does it corner well?

Do you really care? Oh, you do? Perhaps the Niro isn’t for you. Not that it’ll fall over the first time it sees an apex (it’s actually very proficient), but it’s just not that engaging. The steering is light as you’d expect and you don’t get too much feedback from the brake pedal. Perfectly acceptable for family life though. 

Can I tow things?

Now that’s a brilliantly practical question. You can. Both the Hybrid and the PHEV offer a maximum braked towing capacity of 1,300kg. Even the EV can now tow 750kg, and if you want to read more on that powertrain then click these blue words for the full TG review.

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